Christopher Paul Curtis is the author of nine books for young people including Bud, Not Buddy, The Mighty Miss Malone, Elijah of Buxton, The Watsons Go To Birmingham-1963, and Mr. Chickee's Funny Money. In addition to being translated into 12 languages and selling more than seven million copies, his work has been performed as an off-Broadway musical with a score written by Motown legend Lamont Dozier, a motion picture directed by Tony award-winning director Kenny Leon and two world premiere commissions presented at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., one with music written by Oscar-nominated composer Terence Blanchard. In 2000, Curtis became the first African-American male to be awarded the prestigious Newbery medal.
He is originally from Flint, Michigan where he worked for thirteen years at the historic Flint Fisher Body Number One automobile factory. His job was to hang doors on the largest Buicks, the Electra 225 and LeSabre. This has left him permanently averse to entering large cars.
Curtis currently lives in Windsor, Ontario with his wife Habon and their three children, Ayaan, Ebyaan, and Libaan.
The title of Curtis' remarks to this year's graduates is "You Want to Be a What...?"